Dear Miss Emily:

 I am a 24 year old woman and for the past two years I have had a flirtation with a man I have known since college.  We started "hooking up" at the end of senior year, but since graduation was looming and I was moving across country for a job, we came to the conclusion that a real relationship just wasn't in the cards.  However, that year the first time I came home for the holidays we met at a party hosted by mutual friends, and went out several times.  We continued meeting whenever I was home, and sending the occasional email between those times.  We always have a lot of fun together, and I've never completely stopped thinking about him.  I am about to be transferred back to my home state and would like to have a real relationship with him- but I'm not sure how to go about broaching the subject. I think I might have relegated myself to the category of the hookup-girl rather than girlfriend by not insisting on a commitment earlier, even when it would have had to be long distance.  Help!
Homeward Bound

------------------------Miss Emily’s advice-------------------

Dear Homeward:

No, you were smart not to insist on a commitment because of the distance between you and him.  Come to think of it, the word “insist” sounds a little cold, like it’s a business deal. I think you are anxious about this because you want to move forward and make up for lost time. Let him know that you are excited about the move and would like to plan a dinner out to celebrate.  That’s about all you can do at this time, because you don’t want to appear too eager.  Avoid analyzing this to death, and don’t create false scenarios.  Broaching the subject about whether a real relationship is possible does not allow for the new circumstances to take hold.  Be spontaneous, and move gracefully into the next phase. Your accessibility and charm is all he will need to take this to the next level if he is ready, willing and able.